logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: my-tbr-list
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-11-19 13:25
Thoughts: All Fall Down
All Fall Down - Julie Coulter Bellon

All Fall Down

by Julie Coulter Bellon
Book 1 of Hostage Negotiation Team


My TBR List -- November Winner!
See Other My TBR List Reviews (link coming soon) @ Because Reading

 

Hostage negotiator Claire Michaels’ never thought she'd be involved in an international crisis.  Can she overcome her scars of the past to stop a new al-Qaeda threat?

Navy SEAL Rafe Kelly is on leave to recover from a knee injury he suffered during his tour in Afghanistan and he doesn't expect to be fighting terrorists on his home turf.  When he's taken hostage, he knows he has to fight or die.

 

 

I read this book as part audio and part Kindle book, though towards the end, it ended up being mostly audio as I found myself listening to it while playing computer games.  It was very easy to just lose myself in a book while playing mindless computer games.  It was a good evening, well spent.

Anyway, the audio book is narrated by Simon Pringle-Wallace, and was actually done quite well once I got used to his voice.  Since the majority of the characters were male, it was easier to get used to his voice once you get past his softer voice for Claire.

But enough of that.

Book-wise, even though I DID enjoy the book, it still seems, sort of, like I'm in the minority of opinions about it.  While it was exciting, fast-paced, and enjoyable enough, there were still things about All Fall Down that didn't quite work out for me, mainly the events at the beginning.  I haven't been able to really pinpoint why, but that some of the actions and events didn't seem to make much sense to me.

Even so, having great characters helps the book.  All Fall Down is bite-sized and flew by before I knew it.  Once the action got started, everything just kind of fell into place.

We already get to see a bunch of side characters, many of whom will probably be getting their own book.  At the same time, the introduction of all these characters doesn't seem awkward or forced.  And while I did like Claire and Rafe just fine, I felt like they were fairly standard as a main couple for a romance novel; though, to be clear, that doesn't take away from the fact that both are great characters.  They just don't really stand out.

Very enjoyable, though not much more unique than any other romantic suspense outside of being about a hostage negotiation team, which is a premise I haven't come across in other romantic suspense books yet.  HOWEVER, I have been introduced to this concept in an old Hong Kong television drama series, which I very much enjoyed, which is why I'd been drawn to the concept of All Fall Down in the first place.

I will definitely find the time to continue this series.


***

2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge
Reading Assignment Challenge
Bookish Resolutions Challenge
Mount TBR Challenge

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/11/thoughts-all-fall-down.html
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2016-11-12 22:37
My TBR List -- November Winner!
My TBR List is a monthly meme hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading.
The basic gist of this activity is to have others help decide on which book out of three I'm selecting from my TBR pile I should read for the month via votes.  The posts will be published on the first two Saturdays (voting and winning book announcement, respectively), and the winning book review will be posted on the last Saturday of the month.
Click on the above links for more information.
 

 

So according to the masses, the book I will be reading for My TBRL this month is:

 


I have two winners this month, with both Whirlpool and All Fall Down garnering a tie at 5 votes each.
 
 

Recap

 

Last week, the books I had everyone vote on were:


The voting was actually an extremely close one as the week went by.  Whirlpool had a very strong start, being ahead of the other two books for a short duration of time before the votes started coming in rapid-fire soon after.  And surprisingly, All Fall Down had been the book to start the race with the fewest amount of votes on the first day.  Then all of a sudden, it shot past My Lady, My Lord and ended up right up there next to Whirlpool.

I would say that they left My Lady, My Lord in the dust, but truth be told, it only lost by one vote.  One more vote in that direction and I'd end up with a triple-tie!  then I'd have to invoke special powers of the BFF vote (essentially that would involve begging my best friend to pick one of three books).

As it is, with a simple tie, I will be using my special admin powers (pfft, admin powers) to make a decision between the two winners.  But pretty much, my decision will be that I will read both books, since I need two Reading Assignment books to read this month anyway, but that Whirlpool will be the book I post as the My TBR review on the last Saturday this month.  My decision is based on the fact that Whirlpool had been at the front of the vote since the start of this.

But I WILL also mention All Fall Down as one of the two winners as well.

Again, thank you to everyone for voting!

 

 

Coming up next for the My TBR List:

 

  • 11/26:  Review of the winning book, Whirlpool by Elizabeth Lowell
  • 12/3:  Next Month's My TBR List Voting


***

See Also: My TBR List -- November 2016 Voting

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/11/my-tbr-list-november-winner.html
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2016-11-05 06:30
My TBR List -- November 2016 Voting
 

 

 
My TBR List is a monthly meme hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading.
The basic gist of this activity is to have others help decide on which book out of three I'm selecting from my TBR pile I should read for the month via votes.  The posts will be published on the first two Saturdays (voting and winning book announcement, respectively), and the winning book review will be posted on the last Saturday of the month.
Click on the above links for more information.

 



And the TBR List Voting is back at Ani's Book Abyss!  For the past two months, I'd been happily buried books with a delightful seasonal bookish activity, Halloween Bingo 2016, so knowing my own ability to juggle too many things at the same time, I chose to skip this monthly meme for that time.  But now I'm rejoining the fun of this.

I had a lot of different themes I wanted to pick for the next few My TBRL months, but what really stood out to me was the fact that the end of the year is drawing near... and I'm running out of options for my Reading Assignment Challenge.  And since I actually DID flounder about what books I wanted to read for November's Reading Assignment, I figured that My TBRL was the best way to decide for me what to read.

The November Reading Assignment edition of My TBR List includes three of the remaining eight Reading Assignment books on my 2016 list.  Since I'm really supposed to read four books each month, I might just end up reading also, the book with the second highest number of votes; I already picked two other books (though those choices are always subject to change as well).

 

 

The Books

 

 

My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe
-- Book 1 of Twist series

The Bluestocking
Lady Corinna Mowbray has three passions: excellent books, intelligent conversation, and disdaining the libertine Earl of Chance.

The Rake
Lord Ian Chance has three pleasures: beautiful women, fast horses, and tormenting high-and-mighty Corinna Mowbray.

Neighbors for years, they've been at each other's throats since they can remember. But when a twist of fate forces them to trade lives, how long will it be before they discover they cannot live without each other?

 

 
-- Book 1 of Hostage Negotian Team

 

Hostage negotiator Claire Michaels never thought she'd be involved in an international crisis.  Can she overcome her scars of the past to stop a new al-Qaeda threat?

Navy SEAL Rafe Kelly is on leave to recover from a knee injury he suffered during his tour in Afghanistan and he doesn't expect to be fighting terrorists on his home turf.  When he's taken hostage, he knows he has to fight or die.

 

 

Whirlpool by Elizabeth Lowell

As a child, Laurel Swann barely knew her father.  Always an enigma, intriguing and inscrutable, he was an elusive shadow flitting in and out of her life.   Even now, years later, he remains a stranger to her.  Still, when a mysterious parcel arrives containing a priceless Fabergé egg, Laurel is certain it came from him.  But she doesn't realize that her father's gift has brought death and terror into her world...

Against her will, Laurel is being dragged down into a swirling vortex of betrayal and violence.   And there's nowhere to turn for help--except to Cruz Rowan, an ex-FBI agent and her father's sworn enemy.  A strong, secretive, and dangerous man, Cruz has his own agenda and is spinning his own webs.

And he is her last and only hope...

 

 

Let's Vote!

 

**For BookLikes members reading this in the BookLikes dashboard view:  Click here to generate the voting box on another page if you would like to vote.  I don't know why the voting box doesn't show, though it appears in blog view just fine.

**For everyone else voting via BookLikes blog view or at the Book Abyss's Blogspot home:  You may ignore the above tangent.  The voting box shows just fine.

Again, thank you for stopping by and voting!

 

Loading...

 


Previous My TBR List months at Ani's Book Abyss can be found at the Bookish Memes page.

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/11/my-tbr-list-november-2016-voting.html
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-08-27 14:05
Thoughts: Crash and Burn
Crash and Burn - Allison Brennan,Laura Griffin

Crash and Burn

by Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin
Book 1 of Moreno & Hart

Average Rating:  2.75 Stars


My TBR List -- August Winner!
See Other My TBR List Reviews (link coming soon) @ Because Reading



Crash and Burn is a book about two ex-police turned private investigators, Scarlet Moreno and Krista Hart.  The backstory from the prologue gives us the events of three years ago when Scarlet is almost killed on a mission--somehow, she surmised that someone had set her up for dead, and in the meantime, there was no back up to come bail her out.  Rookie cop Krista is the only other officer willing to jump into the chaos to save Scarlet.

Gunfire ensues and we skip ahead to three years into the present when Scarlet and Krista have both left the LAPD to become private investigators in Newport.  The events of three years prior had bonded the two women, turning them from a senior and rookie cop partnership into best friends, practically like sisters.  At the present moment in this book, the two are struggling to make ends meet by taking every divorce and marital battle case they can get their hands on just to build a client base.

The book is formatted like an anthology, based around these two main characters where Crash is Scarlet Moreno's story, written by Allison Brennan, and Burn is Krista Hart's story, written by Laura Griffin.

To be totally honest, I picked up this book mainly because I'm a fan of Laura Griffin's Tracers series.  I have read something by Allison Brennan before, but couldn't really get into it, and was hoping that this second chance would fare better, especially with only half the book to get through before getting to Laura Griffin's part.

 

 

Crash

by Allison Brennan

This first part of the book is very abrupt and bite-sized, but still manages to run two story tangents within this little bit.

The Story:
Scarlet chances upon a traffic accident, which ends up landing her in the middle of some domestic dispute involving two rich young adolescents, one of whom might be a bit mentally unstable.  They both contact her to help them with something to do with the other, and Scarlet questions why and how she got herself into this situation when things start getting out of control--apparently between these two clients, there is stalking, death threats, and some crazy-crazy involved.

Meanwhile, she also manages to insert herself into a murder investigation involving a group of college kids.  The chaos begins after an attempted date rape drugging is thwarted by Scarlet's friend, Isaac, who is the bartender of Diego's, a local bar--Scarlet lives in the little hovel over the establishment.

That night after the little college group leaves, a gunshot is fired, waking Scarlet, and she soon finds one young man dead, one critically injured, and one of the girls who'd been at the bar earlier disoriented, drugged, and a possible rape victim.  The incident soon escalates when another girl is found in critical condition, dropped off at a hospital, with an overdose of the new designer date rape drug in her system--her boyfriend is dead in his own home with a knife in his back, and the other college kids who'd been at Diego's in the same group are missing.

The case is being investigated by Alex Bishop, a new detective in Newport, who seems to have gotten the wrong impression of Scarlet, either based on hearsay or something, because he is hostile towards her the moment they meet.

My Thoughts:
Again, this particular portion of Crash and Burn was quite short and abrupt.  While the investigation was done decently, the ending felt kind of like it was quite sudden.  I'm not really complaining, since with only a little less than two hundred pages to present Scarlet's part of the story, it was actually quite detailed and well-written.

In fact, I'm kind of surprised that Brennan was able to include two separate story lines in this bite-sized piece, and am kind of impressed that both had quite well-rounded conclusions following a well-outlined story.

The only complaint I have is that I would have liked to see more of the story on Bishop's side of things, and that this first part of the book could have been a little bit longer.  Instead, it felt incomplete and unsatisfying, even with the well-rounded ending of both cases.  We get little chance to get to know all the major players in this story, especially Detective Bishop, even though we are told quite a bit of backstory about Scarlet.

For instance, I would have liked to know why Bishop was so hostile towards Scarlet in the beginning.  What did he know about her that had him calling her a "disgraced cop" without preamble?  His antagonism against her is much more extreme than even I would have expected towards a private investigator, even knowing that, as a rule, law enforcement officers typically don't care for P.I.s.  And then what changes his mind later on?  And why did he bring up Scarlet's brother?  I didn't see what that had to do with anything.

There are a lot of unanswered questions.

And on top of that, the romance kind of happened as a snap action--one moment Bishop is still glaring at Scarlet, the next moment he's kissing her?  Is this just part of the story because we expect romance?  Because it felt out of place.

There was just so much more that could have been covered had this been a full length novel instead, really.

But it was still quite enjoyable nonetheless, and I'm reconsidering my impression of Brennan's work.

Crash receives a fairly meh 3.5 Stars.  But only because I can feel that it has a lot of potential to lead into a good story.

 

 

Burn

by Laura Griffin


Burn was... forgettable.  Truth be told, I'm a little disappointed.

The Story:
Amidst working a marital cheating case wherein the husband confronts her with homicidal tendencies, Krista Hard finds herself drawn into a missing persons case where said missing person's life may be in jeopardy.  An infamous criminal defense attorney offers her a job to locate one of his witnesses who has dropped off the face of the planet--the trial is coming up soon and he needs this girl to testify.  But as Krista investigates the disappearance of Lily Daniels, she soon realizes that there is something more going on with Lily.

Meanwhile, Krista also learns that she wasn't the only private investigator hired to locate Lily Daniels.  It's a dog-eat-dog world in a career as a P.I., and Krista is again reminded of just how hard things can get when people like defense attorney Drake Walker and rival P.I. R.J. Flynn do what they can to keep her out of the game.

My Thoughts:
There was a lot of potential to this short section of Crash and Burn if only because it's an exciting premise, and because it's written by Laura Griffin and I'm a big fan.  As is with most Laura Griffin books, Burn doesn't hold back anything, jumping straight into the action.  We even get private investigator politics, crossed with pissing contests, and gender inequality issues.

So much could have been covered just with those little factors and side tangents.

But unfortunately, the execution of the rest of the story kind of felt monotonous and unoriginal.  Burn gave me a sense of "been there, done that," and I can't help but to think that it could have been developed a bit better if it had been a full-length novel, just like Crash.  Instead, we get a bite-sized teaser of what might be forthcoming in the rest of the series as the authors try their best to introduce these two wonderfully crafted main characters.

Nonetheless, this novella-sized half of a book was written well.

The romance between R.J. and Krista had all the makings of a potentially likable "Bickering Couple Romance," between their rivalry.  But there were moments when R.J. went a little overboard on the teasing and the butting in--he reminds me of an elementary school boy who likes the tough girl on the playground, but shows his affection by pulling her pig tails and throwing staples in her hair, unapologetically.  Or taking her glue and crayons and refusing to return them, only to use them for his own means.  Or taking her project ideas and claiming them for his own.

Really, he's just that popular and cool asshole in school whom all the girls tend to fall for anyway.

And Krista is the tough girl who rises to the teasing, which just makes the boy want to tease her some more.

In a way, it could have been a cute romance until the ending came around and did something that I found a little bit distasteful.  In fact, I plain did not like the way R.J. decided to resolve their romantic conflict, as well as the issue concerning Krista's involvement in the missing witness case.  It pissed me off, and days later, it still pisses me off.

This book would have been a higher rating if not for that ending.

Meanwhile, the rest of the story was kind of exciting, but at the same time, entirely forgettable.  I still like that Krista is shown as capable and good investigator, if a little hot-headed and reckless.  I don't like that there were still so many loose ends, and that, like the first story by Allison Brennan, Griffin tries to cram too much material into the short, novella-length story.

For instance:  How does the little cheating husband with homicidal tendencies side-tangent resolve itself?  Did I miss it somehow?  It's a small tangent and I kind of forgot about it for a while, but it's still there and feels like a very big loose end.

Burn receives an even more 'meh' 2.5 Stars.  To be honest, I might have expected too much and felt the sting of disappointment when things didn't turn out the way I wanted it to turn out.  That's probably my fault.

 

 

Overall Thoughts

One of the things I DID appreciate about Crash and Burn was how realistic it was in portraying the life of a private investigator.  Not that I know what the life of a private investigator entails.  Granted, it was still chalk full of excitement, but our authors DO take pains to emphasize how not-so-glamorous being a P.I. really is.  Moreno & Hart have spent the past two years since leaving the police force trying to build a client base and a reputation, but even as they've managed to sustain a living with their agency, they admit that the majority of their cases involve jilted spouses, divorce cases, and the like.  The majority of their time is spent waiting for a cheating husband or wife to slip up so that they can take that money-making photo to show their clients.

There's a lot of waiting involved for these two women: waiting for a picture to be taken, waiting for their target to do what they need to do, waiting for a client to hire them...

And then there are more private investigators out there just waiting to pick up that first exciting case that attorneys would be willing to hand them.

While I don't like how things end up for Krista in Burn--where she does almost all the work, but gets no credit for it; where she just knows that she's going to get screwed over on her pay by a hotshot client she's not willing to antagonize--it's something that DOES happen in real life, whether you're a private investigator or not.

I'm hoping we'll see more action and less bite-sized snippets in the next few installments of Moreno & Hart.  While this book was pretty enjoyable, neither of the two stories included in it felt like it was fully complete.  These were teasers at best, and I'm hoping we'll get better with the next book.


***

2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge
Reading Assignment Challenge
Mount TBR Challenge
COYER Summer Vacation 2016

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/08/thoughts-crash-and-burn.html
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2016-08-13 13:00
My TBR List -- August Winner!
My TBR List is a monthly meme hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading.
The basic gist of this activity is to have others help decide on which book out of three I'm selecting from my TBR pile I should read for the month via votes.  The posts will be published on the first two Saturdays (voting and winning book announcement, respectively), and the winning book review will be posted on the last Saturday of the month.
Click on the above links for more information.

See Other My TBR List Winning Book Announcements for August 2016
(link coming soon)
 

 

So according to the masses, the book I will be reading for My TBRL this month is:

 


Crash and Burn won with 50% votes!
 
 

Recap

 
Last week, the books I had everyone vote on were:


This month was a slow one for votes, and a close one as well.  And to be totally honest, I'm very happy with the results.  While My Lady, My Lord lagged behind, Crash and Burn and Endsinger had 4 and 3 votes each, respectively.  In a way, I was hoping for more votes, but I was also dreading more votes because I was afraid that Endsinger would tie with Crash and Burn and I'd have to read two books.

Then again, I need to read four books for my Reading Assignment anyway, so I guess it wouldn't have been so bad.

Again, thank you to everyone for voting!

Coming up next for the My TBR List:
  • 8/27/2016:  Review of the winning book, Crash and Burn.
  • 9/3/2016:  Next Month's My TBR List Voting
 
***
 
 
 
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?